Saturday, April 17, 2010

Third Sunday in Easter

That's tomorrow, not today.... but today is the second Saturday in Easter, a good day, too :)

One feast that has been on my mind is coming up pretty soon. St. Gianna, April 28th.

Gianna Molla was a working mom, a pediatrician, who died in 1962 in Italy. She was pregnant with her fourth child when doctors discovered a tumor in her uterus. Knowing that it would likely cost her her life, she refused to have an abortion or a hysterectomy (as a Catholic, she would have been allowed the hysterectomy) so that her child could live. She was very clear with her family: "If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child--I insist on it. Save the baby." On Good Friday of that year, Gianna gave birth to a baby girl. She died seven days later.

Obviously the requirements for heroic virtue were easily met in her case. Additionally two miracles, medically and scientifically unexplainable, are required before a saint can be canonized. The last miracle for St. Gianna involved a mother who was 16 weeks pregnant when her placenta tore, draining the womb of all amniotic fluid. Doctors informed her that the chances of the baby's survival were nil. Miraculously, she delivered a health baby.

In canonizing her, Pope John Paul II called Gianna "a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of divine love." She is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children, and is an important figure in the pro-life movement.

St. Gianna, pray for us!

1 comment:

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